Former NZ cricket captain Ken Rutherford blasts ball-tampering trio's suspension

Former New Zealand captain Ken Rutherford has blasted Cricket Australia's punishment of ball-tampering trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

Smith and Warner received one-year suspensions for their roles in trying to change the condition of the ball during the third Test against South Africa, while Bancroft was banned for nine months.

Speaking to Brendan Telfer on RadioLIVE, Rutherford said Cricket Australia officials went overboard with their sanctions, but he believed more heads would roll.

"I was interested to read Shane Warne's comments yesterday, and I found myself for probably the first time in my life agreeing with Shane," he said.

"I think they are too hard. I understand the ICC [International Cricket Council] imposed their fine and suspensions, but Cricket Australia have really gone to town here, I believe, in terms of a year suspension for both Smith and Warner and nine months for Bancroft.

"What we're going to see now, and I think James Sutherland's position as CEO is probably under bit of threat too, looks to be a complete cleanout at Australian Cricket level."

Listen to Brendan Telfer on RadioLIVE every Saturday.
Listen to Brendan Telfer on RadioLIVE every Saturday. Photo credit: Newshub

Telfer also called for further clarity on what constituted ball-tampering and feared for future perpetrators.

"I'm just a bit concerned by the precedent that might set in the future for anyone else who gets up to some mischief with the ball, expecting year fines for everyone now," he said.

"If you're using artificial objects such as sandpaper and the like, that's pretty serious stuff, that's fine, but the lollies and the suntan lotion, the lip balm, which still falls under the term ball-tampering, I'm less convinced that should be meted out in terms of such significant fines or suspensions in the future.

"I think the ICC have a bit of work to do here in terms of actually defining what ball-tampering is. I think there's a big, big gap between the sandpaper issue, which is serious stuff don't get me wrong, and somebody maybe putting some sugary, sweet substance or saliva onto the ball."